This is the season to plant shrubs and trees. In the autumn the soil is still warm and it is humid. As with perennials it is important to plant trees and shrubs that are suitable for the soil. In this article I’m focussing on fruit trees.
All fruit trees are grafted on a rootstock. These rootstocks are more resistant to pests and diseases. There are tall stem, medium stem and short stem fruit trees.
Tall stem trees are grafted on strong growing rootstocks suitable for heavy clay, are long-lived (100 years or more) and will be productive after 8 to 10 years.
Short stem trees are grafted on less vigorous rootstocks suitable for a lighter, fertile and slightly acid soil (pH 5.5 to 7)*. These may not live as long but you can already harvest after two or tree years (this also depends on how old the rootstocks are). Medium stem trees are somewhere in between.
*) A pH of 7.0 is neutral. An acid soil has a pH value below 7.0. A pH above 7.0 is alkaline. In every garden centre you can buy pH tests.
So if you have a heavy clay on limestone you must choose tall stem fruit trees. If you have good (not to heavy) soil you can plant short or medium stem trees. In any case the soil must be well drained because fruit trees hate wet feet.
Planting a tree
Plant preferably bareroot trees which you can find at a nursery. They will root much better than trees grown in containers. Dig a deep and wide plant hole (75 x 75 cm and 60 cm deep) to loosen up the soil. Place the stakes before planting the tree. The upper roots of the tree must never be planted deeper than 5 cm under the ground.
We are almost there. One other thing you need to pay attention to when you plant a fruit tree. For a good harvest you need two different species flowering at the same time. This cross-pollination is especially important for sweet cherries and plums. On the internet you can find pollinating lists.
Burgundy fruit trees
So now you know everything you need. If you want to plant typical Burgundian fruit trees here you can find an interesting list http://www.aujardin.info/fiches/pommes-anciennes-auvergne-bourgogne-centre-limousin.php.
And two other interesting sites: pommiers.com and fermedesaintemarthe.com.
Bonne plantation !
A cherry tree in Irancy. Cherry trees like a slightly alkaline soil.